Commercial harvesters in Alaska have delivered upwards of 21 million wild salmon to processors to date, and even as drift gillnetters on Bristol Bay wait for the annual surge for which that fishery is famous, the numbers keep growing.
As of July 6, the preliminary harvest figures compiled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showed deliveries to processors included 12.9 million sockeyes, 4 million humpies, 4 million chums, 174,000 Chinooks and 47,000 silver salmon.
For Bristol Bay alone, the catch of 8 million fish included 7.5 million sockeyes, 391,000 chums and 22,000 kings, with some 19,000 of those kings from the Nushagak district.
On the Lower Yukon, deliveries have reached 32,000 of those famed oil-rich chums, and in Cook Inlet, the harvest of 339,000 salmon includes some 314,000 reds, 13,000 pinks, 6,000 chums and 4,000 Chinooks.
Prince William Sound processors have taken delivery of over 4.6 million salmon, a catch of 2.2 million chums, 1.4 million reds, over 1 million humpies and 12,000 kings.
On the Alaska Peninsula, fishermen have harvested 5.4 million salmon, including 2.6 million humpies, 2.5 million sockeyes, 268,000 silvers and 6,000 kings.
For Chignik, the catch stands at 704,000 salmon, with 631,000 sockeyes, 39,000 chums, 30,000 pinks and 3,000 Chinooks, while Kodiak processors have received 587,000 fish, including 391,000 reds, 152,000 chums, 37,000 humpies, 4,000 cohos and 3,000 kings.
A number of retail shops in Southcentral Alaska featured specials on wild Alaska sockeye salmon fillets for the Independence Day holiday, boosting sales.